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The Boy With A Past
The first time I saw him, it was magic. Not fairytale magic, but explosive magic. He was wearing a black t-shirt and dark jeans. His shaggy black hair and dark blue eyes were intimidating. And due to the fact that he was standing up and yelling at my new principal, I knew he didn’t take any crap from anyone.
His name is Logan Clark. He’s not a jock, and he’s not the nicest guy. This is not one of those stories. He’s intimidating and speaks his mind. He gets angry when things don’t always go his way, and he isn’t afraid of getting in trouble. He’s amazing, and he’ll never realize it.
I had figured out early in life that everything isn’t quite what it seems. This includes my mother. She would always act like the perfect mom in front of her friends and family, but it’s hard to be a perfect mom when you’re never home.
Most mothers have cute little inside jokes with their daughters, and cute little nicknames. Not with my mother. To her, I was always and only called Natalie. Natalie Walker. Also, to her, I was completely incapable of doing anything. Not that she would know. You see, my mom’s a lawyer, which means she always traveling, and we’re always moving.
Before my dad died of lung cancer, we lived in California. But after that, we moved at least twice a year. Though, our most recent move to Denver, Colorado, my mom swears is going to be my last until high school graduation. This makes me highly doubtful, because I don’t graduate for another six months.
After transferring high schools over five times in my life, I had learned not to make myself to comfortable. Meaning: no school clubs, no school sports, and absolutely no boyfriends. Of course, I made friends at school, and when I moved they always promised to ‘keep in touch’…right.
But at my new high school, Arapahoe High, I was promised I could stay, so I decided that I was going to sign up for stuff, and maybe get a boyfriend…or maybe not. I had never had a boyfriend, or even decided to trust a guy enough to become friends. You see, I don’t trust guys. Reason: the only ones I have ever been associated with had left me. My dad died and left me when I was eight, and my brother, Nolan, left me and my mother when I was seven. He was my half brother, my dad’s ex-girlfriend’s kid, he hated my mother, and I honestly don’t blame him.
My first day of school at Arapahoe High was like any other. I walked through the huge glass doors, and I was invisible. Within the first minute of walking inside, I had been rammed into twice, and had to dodge a football spiraling towards my head. Fan-freaking-tastic.
I walked into the front office, which was gorgeously decked-out in yellow and black, and was told to go into the back room (which was a bit creepy, but I figured it was a principal’s office). I walked down the black hallway, covered in yellow splatter paint, and found a door which read ‘Principal Darley’. I knocked, but no answer, so I stood there until the front desk lady walked past and told me to “just open the door” so I did.
At this moment, I met Logan. Okay, so, ‘met’ isn’t the right word I suppose. He was standing, hunched over Mr. Darley’s desk, face red, and jaw taught. He was mad. Mad probably being an understatement. Striking blue eyes bored into my green ones. His face settled and he looked down for a second, grabbed his jacket, and stormed out of the room. I looked at Mr. Darley.
“Um, hi, I’m new here and I uh…I need my schedule, and if you could, a map of this school? I mean if it’s not any trouble.” He still seemed a bit alarmed and flushed as he got up and went to a big filing cabinet.
He cleared his throat and shook his head, “Last name please?”
“Walker. First name Natalie?” I said.
“Ah, here we are.” He handed me a few pieces of yellow paper, “welcome to Arapahoe High Ms. Walker. I hope you enjoy it here, and please, ignore the confrontation from before. That was Logan Clark.” Why was he telling me this? As if I have a ton of friends here that I can go and gossip with.
“Well thank you. I should get to class now.” And I walked out the door, and was unexpectedly grabbed by the arms, the again are you ever expecting that? Anyways, I was pulled to my left by strong hands, and I found myself face-to-face with Logan. Why? Not sure.
“So, about the freak out scene in there, it was nothing. You can go tell your friends if you want, call me a psycho or whatever. I don’t care. Just, don’t think that’s always how I am okay?”
“I, um, I’m new here, I don’t have friend to tell. But it seems you and the principal think I do. Doesn’t matter anyway, everyone gets angry right?”
“Sure. You keep thinking that what happened in there is normal. Whatever, I got to go. It was nice meeting you….”
“Natalie. I’ll see you around Logan.” I said while walking out of the front office. I stopped next to what was apparently my locker; it was black with a big yellow ‘A’ on it, as was everyone else’s. I looked down at my schedule. First class of the day, World History with Mrs. Malone, room 218.
I walked down the yellow hallways-I swear this school has way too much spirit-and into the classroom. As I had expected, everyone turned and gawked at me. Mrs. Malone cleared her throat.
“Class, please welcome our new student, Ms. Natalie Walker. Ms. Walker, you will sit behind Ms. Phillips. Now back to World War II…”
The rest of the day dragged on, I found out I have all of my classes with a nice blond girl named Chloe Phillips. She toured me around the school, and also introduced me to her friends. I pretended to be interested, but my eyes were glued to the raven haired boy alone in the middle of the crowded cafeteria. So, Logan doesn’t have friends? For some reason, I was more interested in him them anything else.
After school, I drove home in my beat up car, and walked into an empty house, only filled with boxes and furniture. Empty, once again. A new home, a new school. Nothing has changed, not since Daddy’s death. I walk up to my room and begin to do my homework. I finish around four o’clock and walk downstairs. Bored with the quiet and empty, I grab a book and my keys and drive. I don’t know where to, but I figure I should considering I’m going to live here for the next couple months.
I drive down to one of the parks, grab my book and sit on a bench. I open my book and begin to read. Completely immersed in my book, I don’t notice the person sitting next to me until I hear someone adjust in their seat. I look up quickly to see Logan sitting right next to me, reading the same book as me. I pretend nothing’s out of the ordinary, and continue to read. I feel him staring at me for what seems like hours, and my thread of will power snaps like a rubber band.
“Do you need something?” I ask, still looking at my book, pretending to read.
“No, it’s just you were sitting on the only bench in the park, and I needed somewhere to sit.” He explained.
“And you’re staring at me because?” I questioned, trying to get him to stop, but my plan failed. The only difference was, I looked up to see him staring at me a bit uncomfortably.
“Am I bothering you? If I am I guess I can leave.”
“No, you’re not bothering me; I’m just getting self conscious. You know, that happens when you’re being stared at.”
“Yeah, I realized that today during lunch when you were gawking at me.” He smirked.
“I uh, well I was just looking around, and I happened to see you.”
“Mm. If you say so.”
“Did you have a problem with my so called staring?”
“No. It’s not every day, or any day really, that someone even notices me.”
“Why is that? I mean, why wouldn’t someone notice you?” I asked.
“Because people here in Denver, they don’t like different. You see, when I was younger, I was abused, and when someone found out, my parents were taken away, to hell hopefully, and I was adopted my aunt and uncle. People think that since I was abused, I will be an abuser. And my temper at points probably doesn’t help.”
I was shocked. No one has ever told me anything about themselves before. “Wow. Logan you didn’t have to-“
“I wanted to. I wanted you to know why I don’t have friends. Why I have scars and why I have a temper. I wanted you to understand.”
“Can I tell you something? It only seems fair.” He agreed. And so I began. I told him everything, from my father dying, to my mother never being home. He knew everything.
“So, since you’ve never had a permanent friend before…do you want to be mine?”
“I’d love to Logan. And, please, don’t tell anyone.”
“Who do I have to tell?” And so our friendship began.
Four months after meeting Logan, we’re still best friends. We get weird looks in the halls at times, but we’ve decided not to care. Now, in late April, we’re at my house doing homework.
“Logan, I’ve told you before, I don’t care about Algebra. I never have and I never will care about Algebra.”
“Nat, I don’t care if you don’t care, we have to do our homework.”
“Shut up! I don’t want to!”
“Just keep acting like a five year-old then, maybe then you’ll get your way.”
“I hate you.”
“Love you too, Nat.”
I got up and walked downstairs, and I heard him follow me down. I ignored him when he grabbed my shoulders and tried to turn me around. I struggled to get out of his grip, but I did, and I walked outside onto my deck. I breathed in the fresh air and I heard Logan come and stand next to me.
“It’s nice, getting away from everything, isn’t it?” I said.
“Yeah. I remember when my aunt and uncle adopted me. At first, I hated the idea. I was always so afraid that their plan was going to backfire, that they would come back. To get away from it, I’d ride my bike down to the beach, and just sit there for hours. I’d think about bad times mostly. I knew it didn’t help anything, but I couldn’t help it.” He stopped and I heard his breath stutter. “I remember one time, with my dad, and he was angry because some kid down the street tipped over our garbage can. It totally set him off. I remember only being able to think about how the blood tasted in my mouth, choking me. I didn’t think I’d ever leave my house again. I thought I was done.”
Then he broke off, I looked over to see the tears sliding down his face. He looked angry. I didn’t know what to do.
“The thought of never getting out. Of dying. It’s almost welcoming. It sounds like the best alternative. I also remember when my dad found me with the gun to-“ I cut him off.
“Logan, stop. It’s fine just breath. It’s okay. He’s gone.” I tried to soothe him, not wanting to hear his almost-suicide story once again. He started breathing normally again.
“Sorry.” He muttered. “I just. Today’s the anniversary, I guess that’s what you can call it, of the day the cops came and found me curled up, with a knife in the stomach, barely breathing. The worst day of my life.”
I felt so sorry for him, and I didn’t want to. He had told me a couple months ago how he hated it when people felt sorry for him. It’s hard not to though, considering he’s showed me his scars, the physical, and has told me about the mental scars. His terrible memories, the picture he still has of him in the hospital after the police found him-which made me cry-and even his aunt, who looks exactly like his mother.
He told me how he has his father’s hair, and his mother’s eyes. How his twin sister died 20 minutes after she was born, from not being able to breathe. He told me of his middle school bullies, who made fun of his past. And of everything else in between. He was my best friend. He knew everything about me, and I knew everything about him.
After we came back inside, we sat on the couch together and I fell asleep in his lap. Then I awoke to my cell phone ringing a couple hours later.
“Hello?” I answered a bit sleepily.
“Hi, this is Logan’s aunt Melissa, can you send him home please? Tell him dinner’s almost ready.”
“Sure. Talk to you later Mrs. Durum.”
I woke up Logan-his bright blue eyes shocking me once again-and told him what his aunt told me to. We said goodbye, and he kissed me on the forehead, then drove off.
Loneliness sucks. My mother hasn’t been home in two weeks, and I was getting sick of the silence in my big huge house. I got into my car and drove around Denver, stopping at McDonald’s when I got hungry. Since it was a Saturday, I didn’t have anywhere to be.
At around eleven thirty I got a call on my phone. Who would be calling now?
“Where the hell are you? Natalie Olivia Walker, what the hell do you think you’re doing?!” I heard a very angry Logan scream on the other line. Crap, I got his temper going, which take a lot of work to stop.
“Logan! Calm down, I got bored being all alone at home for so long, so I went for a drive. Relax, I’m still in Colorado.
“What in God’s name did you think you were doing?”
“Logan, I’m like five minutes from your house, where are you?”
“At home. And I swear when I see you-“
“You’ll what? Logan, I’m seventeen, not seven. I can handle it, and I don’t need you
breathing down my neck 24/7 okay?! I’ll see you later Logan.”
When I arrived home at 11:50 p.m. I saw Logan’s car parked in my driveway. It was running, and he was inside it, his music blaring loud enough that I could hear it. Damn, he was still mad. He only listens to music loudly when he’s mad. Great.
I decide to ignore him, and keep walking inside I had managed to unlock, open and get inside the door before he was walking up my front porch steps, his blue eyes midnight dark, and intimidating. I just stood there staring at him, waiting for him to say something but he didn’t. After a few minutes, I was sick of it, so I decided to close the door, but he stopped me.
“What? What is it Logan? You’re mad at me because I was sick and tired of being home alone, so I drove. It’s not like I’m four, Logan. I’m seventeen! And did you ever think that maybe what I do isn’t up to you? I mean c’mon Logan, why does it even matter!”
And he didn’t say anything, once again. He stood there looking at me, his midnight blue-yet usually bright-eyes boring into mine. I shook my head. “Logan?”
He breathed deeply and slowly before answering. “I’m sorry for caring, okay? It’s just, I haven’t had a friend before, and the thought of loosing you, scares the living hell outta me. I don’t know why I care so much, but I do. And I’m sorry for being controlling and angry. But God Natalie, tell me when you plan on going on a ‘driving’ trip, please.”
“I’m sorry. And, after this little experience here,” I said looking at him, “I’ll probably never do that again.” He smiled, and hugged me tightly. “Hey Logan?”
“Wanna come inside, or do you have to go?”
“Sure, I’ll come in. When I left, my aunt was screaming at me not to let me temper ‘get the best of me’. And if you ask me, they don’t have one ounce of trust in me whatsoever.” I laughed.
“It’s better than having my mom, who trusts me ever so much, that she decides to leave me at home, alone, for over two weeks.” Logan has only met my mother once, and let me say, I’ve never seen her glare at someone more. She told me afterwards, ‘I don’t trust that boy!’, and I couldn’t care less.
“True. Very true.”
A few hours later, we were sitting in my ataman in my living room having an Adam Sandler movie marathon, drinking coke, and eating a gallon of strawberry ice cream when his aunt called.
“Hello?...Yeah, I’m at Nat’s house….Sorry….thanks, bye.”
“What’d she have to say?”
“She asked me where I was, then yelled at me for not telling her I was staying here, and told me I almost gave her a heart attack. And that I could spend the night here, because she doesn’t want me driving at 3 o’clock in the morning.”
“Mmm. Okay. But, I think my mom’s coming home tomorrow afternoon, and the fact that she doesn’t trust you at all, you should probably leave before then.” He chuckled and played with my hair.
So, since the first day of school, a lot has changed. Not only Logan and I’s relationship-or friendship-but everything else. Chloe, who I still sit behind in World History, still talks to me, and attempts to talk to Logan. Mr. Darley has transferred schools, and we now have a new principal-who’s a total scumbag if you ask me- and my mother actually knows what, for the most part, what’s going on in my life. And well, though I’ll never admit it, I have a slight crush on Logan. I wouldn’t ever ask him out though, because I know if I do, he’d say yes, but I wouldn’t know if it was because he actually wanted to, or because he doesn’t want to lose me.
After our third movie in a row, Logan fell asleep, his arms tight around me-and even though I needed to pee so bad, I didn’t have the heart to wake him up. He was a major sleep talker, which could get pretty annoying, but usually I could tell what he was dreaming about.
About a half an hour after he fell asleep, I heard him mumbling my name.
“Nat…no, Dad stop,…..leave her….no, please!” He started to scream.
“Logan,” I shook him, “Logan, stop! Logan!” And suddenly his brilliant blue eyes were wide open staring at me in shock. He breathing was uneven and heavy. “Logan, it’s fine. You okay?”
He nodded slowly, and seemed unsure. He blinked a few times and took in the scene around him. In the four months of knowing him, I had never seen him look so unsure. His hand reached up and pushed the hair out of my face, and a very small smile appeared on his face. “Bad dream?” I guessed.
He nodded again, “The worst.” He whispered. “One of the many reasons I feel protective over you.” He said before his eyelids slid closed and he mumbled, “I love you Nat…so much.” Whoa. WHAT?!
Did he just say he loved me?! I mean, he’s said it before, but never in that kind of context! Hang on, maybe I’m overreacting, I mean, he couldn’t mean it in that way…could he?
I put my stupid thoughts aside and tried to sleep. When I finally did fall asleep, it was around five in the morning and I woke up at six, feeling someone staring at me. I opened my eyes to see Logan looking down at me, with a blank face. “Yes?” I said, not sure why anyone would stare at me while I slept.
“You’re beautiful, you know that right?” So my speculations from last night were correct! Or were they, I mean maybe he’s saying it in a friendly sort of way.
“Yes? What’re you saying Logan?” I asked, a bit nervous I might add.
“This…” he said, and unexpectedly leaned in. He was kissing me. Wait, he was kissing me? Lean in, stupid, do it back! And I did. I leaned in and I kissed him, and he kissed me. I was kissing my best friend, the only person in the world who knows everything about me, and still likes me. The one I know everything about and I still don’t mind. He pulled away slowly, his bright eyes opening slightly.
I pulled back slowly too. Not because I wanted to, but because I needed to breathe. “Logan, I…I don’t know what to say. Are you saying what I think you are?”
He smiled, “Depends on what you think…if you think I’m saying I need to be more than friends with you, well, then Ms. Walker, you’d be correct.” I smiled up at him.
“I’m glad.” I whispered, and we kissed, finally finding our piece of much needed happiness.